Reasons have been adduced for why the Southwest geopolitical zone in Nigeria has been experiencing low rains this year, according to the Monthly Climate Gist, coming from the Early Warning System (EWS), Geospatial Laboratory, Institute of Food Security, Environmental Resources and Agricultural Research (IFSERAR), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Ogun State.
Southwest, Nigeria is located in the tropical rainforest belt of West Africa, which typically experiences two rainy seasons each year – a long rainy season from March to July, and a short rainy season from September to November. The timing and amount of rainfall can vary from year to year, due to various factors. From the report, one of the reasons for delayed or low rainfall could be climate change, which is causing changes in weather patterns around the world. Climate change can lead to prolonged droughts and unpredictable rainfall patterns, which can have significant impact on agriculture, food security, and water availability.
“These are climate patterns that can affect rainfall patterns around the world. During an El Niño event, the sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean rise, which can cause droughts in some parts of the world, including West Africa. On the other hand, during a La Niña event, the sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean are cooler than usual, which can lead to increased rainfall in some regions. The amount of rainfall a region receives is also influenced by atmospheric conditions, such as the amount of moisture in the air, the temperature, and the presence of weather systems like high-pressure systems or tropical depressions.
“These factors can influence the amount and timing of rainfall in a particular region. Human activities like deforestation, land use changes, and urbanisation can also affect rainfall patterns in a region. For instance, deforestation can lead to a decrease in rainfall by reducing the amount of moisture in the air and altering the local climate. In conclusion, delayed or low rainfall in southwest, Nigeria in May 2023 could be due to a combination of these factors or other local factors specific to the region. It is important to note that weather patterns are complex and influenced by many factors, and it is difficult to attribute any single event to a specific cause without further analysis and data”, the report added.
The Early Warning System (EWS) ground-receiving station is located at IFSERAR, under the Environmental Resources and Conservation Research Programme. The station is a ground-receiving station connected to Eumetsat in Darmstadt, Germany. Near real-time information on climate events are received and used for advisory services to farmers in Southwest, Nigeria most especially, in Ogun State. The laboratory also provides historical data up to 30 years to researchers on how they are carrying out climate-related research as well as a training centre for people, who are willing to undergo short training programmes in Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing.